More dress shopping | The Budget Savvy Bride
The Budget Savvy Bride

So this weekend my lovely sister, K came with me to try on some dresses. Last week, I received one of the many spam emails I receive each week from David’s Bridal, but this one was advertising their $99 gown sale. $99 for a wedding dress? Too good to be true. Gotta be absolute crap quality, right? Well, we waited until Sunday to go look at dresses and the other stores I would have wanted to go to were closed on Sundays. So, that left me no choice but to suck it up and begrudgingly wander into DB. I mean, what could it hurt? If I found a dress for $99, that would free up a lot of money for something else…

I’m not going to lie, it wasn’t the worst experience ever. I actually liked a couple of the dresses I tried on, but I didn’t get ‘that feeling’ that everyone talks about- not that I expected to at David’s Bridal! I am starting to think that the whole “This is the one” feeling is a load of crap. Maybe it’s just the pessimist in me… ANYWAY- I tried on 6 dresses before our assigned ‘bridal consultant’ disappeared. She had pretty much lost interest in helping me once I mentioned my low-end budget and the fact that I wasn’t planning on buying today. Now, I don’t know if these girls work on commission but all I can say is it was RUDE, and I felt unimportant. After 20 minutes of standing around waiting for her to bring me another dress that I had pointed out in the catalogue, I got fed up and we left. So the end was definitely LAME. But I still have some pics to share that K took for me so let me know what you think! I’ll start with the higher priced and work our way down, just for kicks.

PhotobucketOkay, personally, I would NEVER pay $1000 for a dress from DB. I’d rather buy one of the Maggie’s I tried on if I was gonna spend that kind of money! But that’s just me.

Photobucket I’m not gonna lie, I kinda liked this one a little. It is pretty light weight, which is nice, but it has a full poofy skirt. It was kinda fun to wear, but I kept getting snagged on the train and stepping on the front of the dress. I know that tailoring the dress will change that but I don’t know if I want something that big…

Photobucket I kinda liked this one too. I tried it on without the sash, but it was flattering to my waistline- made me look skinny. It’s got some of the lace detailing that I like, but it wasn’t too much. Just in comparison with the Maggie’s I tried on, you can tell a BIG difference in the quality of the lace, but it still looked pretty.

Photobucket This is little sister K’s favorite- she picked it out for me to try it on. This may sound weird but, I’m not all about the beading on the top or the broach thing on the left side. With the beading, I’m one extreme or the other. I either want it everywhere or nowhere. So I wasn’t feeling it so much. I felt like I’d like it better if it was plain…

Photobucket This dress did NOT fit me right and I was not a fan- as you can probably tell by the oh-so-happy face I’m making. It’s meant for someone taller and more slender. But I wasn’t mad about it. The lace seemed a little cheap… but you obviously get what you pay for.

Photobucket Believe it or not, this was kind of my favorite. It’s simple, slimming, and CHEAP. I kinda liked that it didn’t have a train, too, because all the other ones really got on my nerves when I wore them. My sis thought that this looked like a base dress that wasn’t finished, like it was waiting for some beading or special details to be added. But I kinda liked the simpleness of it, it’s uncomplicated. I think I would add some buttons along the zipper to make it look a little more classy, but that would be pretty easy.

So there ya have it. The prices of all these dresses aren’t even the final price- right now DB is running a sale for $50-$300 off ALL of their dresses. So these dresses are actually cheaper than what the pics say. I dunno, it’s something to think about… I’ve still got time. Any thoughts?

Jessica is the creator of The Budget Savvy Bride; she launched the site in May of 2008, shortly after becoming engaged. Jessica has been recognized as a budget wedding expert by various media outlets and continues to share realistic inspiration and actionable tips to help brides save money on their weddings. Google

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    • Guilty Secret
    • September 8th, 2008

    My favourites were the one your sister liked and the one you liked. I think the gathered waist really suits you and it’s very flattering. I know what your sister meant about that dress looking unfinished, but I think that’s just in the context of the other dresses. All dresses up with hair, make-up, flowers etc. it would be plenty detailed enough.

    Keep trying, you’ll get the feeling!

  1. I actually liked the cheapest one best! Especially with dresses on a budget, I feel like the simpler the better – because as you said about the lace dress, detailing like that can look very cheap very quick!

    This is a GREAT post and really gives perspective about what’s out there. I’m sure I have a DB trip in my future… and frankly, I would LOVE to find a $99 dress – I mean I want to feel gorgeous in my dress, but I would rather splurge on my rehearsal dinner dress and my shoes, things I will wear again.

    So much to think about!

  2. Wow-I love how you posted these with the model as well. I like the look of the $699 and $599 dress. I think I have a friend who wore the $299 dress and I thought it looked like it was $299 when I saw her in it. But that fit really does look great on you! Gosh, it’s got to be so hard to decide!

  3. I loved the last one too! I don’t like any beading or such either.

    • MM
    • September 8th, 2008

    You know, I got a $99 dress at David’s Bridal. It was very simple, like the last one you posted. I took it to a very trusted seamstress and picked out a panel of lace and beading and had that added to the dress (the lace was $215, plus the cost of alteration). Now it’s like a “custom” dress! You might think about doing something like that…

    I liked the $599 one on you, for what it’s worth.

  4. See! It isn’t so bad :) That sucks that she just left you hanging though, very rude. My friends tried on the $1000 dress and loved it (she isn’t engaged :) ) but I know what you mean about spending $1000 at DB. I like the $499 best on you, very flattering! I tried it on too :) The problem I had with those though is the quality of the fabric, some of them felt like they were made out of raincoat material!

    At least now you can say you went!

  5. I’m with you, the least expensive and simplest one is my favorite. And I totally agree, I may be too pragmatic but I’m not sure there’s “a perfect dress” that’s waiting for you to discover it… I think you have to go with your gut feeling but also the practical side (I’m with you on big trains, with or without bustles) and your budget. The $299 dress fits you really well, I like the silhouette a lot!

    But that’s just me… I guess I’m not the most typical gal because I actually think that less is usually more. The “unfinished” look is actually what I like best. Looking at a lot of wedding “p*rn” (yeah, me too :-)) made me realize that brides you see with very simple, unadorned dresses do not look “unfinished” or “unspecial” at all! They look just as beautiful as brides with very intricate dresses, first because they have that glow, and second because you have to add the whole context in, hair and make-up, head pieces, jewelry, shoes, flowers, ribbons, the fact that everyone around is dressed up, the place is beautifully decorated, etc…

    We don’t have DB in Canada but I read in “Bridal Bargains” that the 99$ dress they advertise is kind of a scam, because you arrive there and they have like one 99$ model that has been used as a sample or something… That their marketing strategy is to get you there and then make you look at more expensive dresses… Did it turn out to be the case?

  6. the last one looks so good on you and you look the happiest!

    when i was dress shopping, I got a bit skeptical about the whole theory of “the one” but I really held out and did end up finding “the one” so give it some time, it may come!

  7. Hey! I recently came across your blog and I love it! I got engaged earlier this year (or course the wedding will not be until a couple years) and reading about you planning and getting ready for yours is a lot of fun to me! I really enjoy it.

    I wanted to say that I love the $299 and the $499 dresses! They were the two best in my opinion! Good luck finding a dress!

    Linley

  8. Wow what a great post! I love how you broke it down into price chunks with pictures. If I didn’t already have a dress, I’d be humping my computer right now after seeing this :)
    Thanks!
    xo, Broke-Ass Bride

    • The Pissed Off Bride
    • September 9th, 2008

    I like the last one the best. It is not distracting to the eye. I think with some acessories this would be an awesome gown.

  9. I liked the one that your sister liked and the one that you liked as well. They both have the slimming effect in the waist. The one that you liked I totally liked the price. I feel you about buying a dress for $1000.00. When I went dress shopping I fell in love with one that was $1200.00,but I had to be reasonable. I really did not want to take alot of my budget for a dress that I would only wear once. I found a dress that was $250.00 and I love it just the same. I like the simpliness and uniqueness of my dress. The one that you liked the price and the dress can be dressed up with a shrug or maybe a rhinestone brooch. Get what you feel beautiful in and that you will not feel guilty about paying for later.

    • Brandi
    • September 10th, 2008

    I love the $499 one on you. The shape and the ruching is very flattering. When trying on dresses I never got the “this is the one” feeling either. After consulting with many friends I found that only some people get this feeling about their dress. I went back to the dress i finally chose 4 times with various people before I purchased it. So if you don’t get that feeling don’t worry, you may be like me and just not be that kind of bride. Now i did get that feeling about our venue and to me that was much sweeter!

  10. I really like the styles with the ruching on you. They really fit your body style. I also agree that the “this is the one” feeling is a bit over-rated. While I know that it is possible I don’t think you need to count on just that. ;)

  11. I really like the last one–it looks great on you!! You could wear some great accessories to add a bit more “pop”, but I love the classic, simple look. Good luck with your search!!

    • misspurple
    • September 17th, 2008

    The last one! It’s all about how you feel in it – that’s what make it the one (at least, from my own experience). ;-) With some kick-ass flowers and sexy hair, va-va-voom. Great work framing the photos, btw!

    • omgweddingblog
    • August 7th, 2009

    the last one is my new dress, actually. i had picked out a more expensive one back in june, and when i went back for alterations i hated it. they let me exchange. :D

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